First blue catfish from the wintry scene of Powerton Lake: Fish of the Week

SHARE First blue catfish from the wintry scene of Powerton Lake: Fish of the Week

Ricardo Cruz showed versatility in catching his first blue catfishFridayat Powerton Lake, a cooling lake near Pekin. Luis Gonzalez nominated Cruz, a Chicagoan who held the Illinois record for whitefish for a half-year.

Gonzalez messaged that this was the biggest of the nine they caught and came on ‘‘store-bought catfish nuggets marinated in Cruz’s own special blend of spices’’ and originally intended for the grill.

‘‘His bait wasn’t in the water for 30 minutes when his rod was shaking like crazy,’’ Gonzalez messaged.

He credited Blake Larsen with the perfect description of the brutal cold building fog off Powerton’s warm waters: ‘‘It looks like a scene from ‘The Lord of the Rings.’ ’’

FOTW, the celebration of big fish and good stories around Chicago fishing, runs Wednesdays on the Sun-Times’ outdoors page. Send nominations by Facebook (Dale Bowman), Twitter (@BowmanOutside) or email (

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